Groups note Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's history-making role, ask public to trust the democratic process
Nov. 9, 2020
By Walt Williams
Multiple associations issued statements over the weekend congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, with some groups urging lawmakers and Americans to accept the voting results and move on.
Biden was declared the winner Saturday by multiple news outlets after taking a commanding lead in Pennsylvania, giving him the 270 electoral votes needed for the presidency. President Donald Trump has yet to concede and has falsely alleged massive voter fraud, but most experts say there is little he can do to contest the results.
A few groups used their statements to praise the voting process and the nation’s history of a peaceful transfer of power. At least one association, Business Roundtable, specifically called out Trump’s comments, saying there is no indication any of his claims would end in overturning the election results. Most congratulated Biden and Harris by name. One exception was Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which has clashed with both Trump and Democrats over drug prices. The group only said it was looking forward to working with the “new administration.”
Biden may have won the White House but Republicans will continue to hold the Senate unless two runoff elections in Georgia early next year go in Democrats’ favor. Democrats will also continue to control the U.S. House of Representatives, although the GOP cut into their majority.
Only a few groups publicly weighed in on what a divided government would mean for policy. Most stuck to congratulating the winners, with several noting Harris would be the first woman of color to be vice president. The following is a roundup of association reactions:
Jeff Joseph, CEO, Software & Information Industry Association
“In a year that featured critical, if difficult, discussions about race, ethnicity, and equity for our great nation, it is truly an American outcome that this election brings the first female vice president, the first of color, and first of a multiracial background. Celebrating diversity and equality of opportunity are strong values shared across our 700 member companies and organizations.”
“Business Roundtable commends President Trump for a hard-fought campaign that has garnered over 70 million votes. We know the outcome is disappointing to his millions of supporters. While we respect the Trump campaign’s right to seek recounts, to call for investigation of alleged voting irregularities where evidence exists and to exhaust legitimate legal remedies, there is no indication that any of these would change the outcome.”
Sudip Parikh, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science
“As newly elected candidates prepare to take office, we stand ready and willing to assist efforts at the national and state level to address critical challenges that would benefit from scientific expertise, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, national and energy security, and scientific and economic competitiveness, among others. We look forward to working with you."
Jay Timmons, CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
“Manufacturers trust the democratic process, and the vote counts are clear enough that the networks have confidently projected a winner. Poll workers tirelessly counted ballots through a pandemic to handle record turnout and make sure the process worked. Recounts are also part of our system, and we trust that they will be carried out fairly and carefully where required or requested. As part of the democratic process, we want to make sure this election is accurate and there are no valid questions about its legitimacy.”
Brian Lodge, president, Retail Industry Leaders Association
“As former President George H.W. Bush once said, we respect the ‘majesty of the democratic system.’ After a long campaign, it is time to respect the results and congratulate the victors across the country who nobly put their names forward for public office.
“When the final votes are certified, Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. We offer our best wishes to him and Senator Kamala Harris as they prepare for the tough work that lies ahead.”
Zippy Duval, president, American Farm Bureau Federation
"Unprecedented challenges require courageous leadership and the willingness of all elected leaders to work across the aisle for the good of the nation. Agriculture provides a strong model for that, with a long tradition of aligning behind smart policy, not party lines. We urge all those chosen by the people to use the election to turn the page on partisanship and commit to working together.
Rick Pollack, CEO, American Hosptial Association
“This remarkable year has tested our nation, our economy, our health care system—and most recently—our sacred democratic form of government. Now, after Americans spoke out by ballot in record numbers, the media has reported that the election has been called for Joe Biden. …
“We both share the same top priority: fighting the battle against COVID-19. As we continue on the front lines in this fight, we will work as partners to protect our patients and communities, as well as support our brave health care workers.”
Mark Parkinson, CEO, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living
“We will call on the Biden Administration and Congress to help us address the immediate crisis at-hand and ensure that facilities have the resources they need to protect our nation’s most vulnerable. … However, with record-breaking COVID cases across the country just this past week, our nation’s seniors and their caregivers cannot wait until January to bring about the assistance facilities need right now. We urge lawmakers to take action immediately, during the Lame Duck Session, and pass a COVID relief package that includes additional funding for our health care providers, including those in long-term care.”
Gary Shapiro, CEO, Consumer Technology Association
“Both President-elect Biden and President Trump turned out a record number of voters this election. We appreciate the hard work that went into counting all the ballots and thank the poll workers across the country for their tireless work this last week. … We look forward to the peaceful transition of power which both parties have followed and respected and sets us apart from many other countries.”
Chris Spear, CEO, American Trucking Associations
“Just like the great industry we represent, ATA is about getting the job done. While some exist in Washington to perpetuate problems, we come to the table prepared with solutions. We value sound data and honest dialogue. Above all, we commit to working with anyone willing to work with us. As the Biden Administration rolls up its sleeves and begins the heavy lift of rebuilding America’s ailing infrastructure, it will find a constructive partner in ATA.”
Barbara Alexander, board president, Infectious Diseases Society of America
“We congratulate President-elect Biden and look forward to working with his transition team members and administration as they take on the public health crisis facing our country. A coordinated, consistent and collaborative evidence-based strategy, working with scientists and with communities, as well as with international partners, will be essential to ending this pandemic. The plan that Mr. Biden has released reflects those crucial components.”
American Public Transportation Association
“President-Elect Biden has been a tireless champion for public transit and passenger rail over his many years of public service, and we look forward to working with his Administration on numerous issues of importance to millions of Americans who rely on bus and rail to get to work, to school, to family, and across this great nation.”
Dan Berger, CEO, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions
“(NAFCU has) already been in communication with the Biden campaign to tout the credit union industry and how they can better serve millions of Americans–now, while facing financial hardships and uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and well into the future.
“With a Biden Administration now set for the next four years, we can expect some changes in leadership at the (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and (National Credit Union Administration) as well as a new outlook and approach to financial regulation. However, NAFCU will fight to ensure credit unions, as consumer-centric lenders, are not further burdened by regulations meant to prevent the egregious practices of bad marketplace actors.”
Geoff Freeman, CEO, Consumer Brands Association
“An incoming Biden administration, coupled with a smaller Democrat House majority and a likely Republican Senate (Georgia runoff in January), points to clear policy shifts in regulation and the federal response to COVID-19, but tremendous uncertainty on the legislative front.
“Conventional wisdom suggests that federal agencies will be more aggressive, and Congress will be gridlocked. Yet the picture is far more complex. While there will be new challenges, the CPG (consumer-packaged goods) industry can also seize opportunities that will arise as Democrats attempt to advance their policy agenda, roll back Trump initiatives and seek opportunities for bipartisan cooperation on selective issues.”
Matthew Polka, CEO, ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association
“This pandemic has made the powerful case that connectivity is a priority for every family and business. We look forward to working with everyone in this new Administration to build upon the Herculean efforts our Members have made as they continue to serve their customers and communities during the ongoing pandemic.”
Victoria Espinel, CEO, BSA | The Software Alliance
“The incoming Administration and Congress have important work ahead as they respond to the pandemic and move forward on economic recovery. That work should include ensuring that everyone can benefit from the digital economy by supporting job creation, expanding access to training and reskilling programs, and investing in research and development. We also hope that the new Administration will focus on creating clear and consistent data privacy and security guidelines, negotiating forward-looking digital trade agreements, and equipping the government with the IT infrastructure it needs to provide services during COVID-19.”
Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
“While there may be differences of opinion on how to best move forward, our nation must rally around the common cause of recovery. On this, there can be no division. We stand ready to help break through the gridlock and help get things done through collaboration and good governance.
“Job number one must be pandemic relief. American small businesses cannot afford for Congress to wait another three months to act. We stand ready to help our leaders get this much-needed legislation passed as quickly as possible.”
Susan Neely, CEO, American Council of Life Insurers
“As we have done for more than 200 years, through war, domestic strife and pandemics, Americans showed once again the strength and resiliency of our free and democratic process. With a legitimate process behind us, it is imperative that we join together to tackle head-on the challenges our country is facing.”
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
“We are committed to working with the new administration and Congress to win the fight against COVID-19 and battle the most critical ongoing health challenges facing the United States and the world. Our nation and the world face an unprecedented public health crisis, and the research-based biopharmaceutical industry is working around the clock to develop therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent COVID-19.”